World’s first sperm bank app lets women ‘order a daddy’

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Sarah Biddlecombe

These days, you can get pretty much anything you want with the simple click of a button: a takeaway delivered straight to your lounge, a personal driver to whizz you home after a long day, or a DVD boxset to keep you entertained when you finally run out of things to watch on Netflix (if that's even possible). 

And now, you can even get hold of a personally-selected vial of sperm, thanks to a brand new app that looks set to shake up the world of IVF.

Nicknamed the 'order a daddy' app, the newly launched service gives women the opportunity to select a sperm donor to father their child and then order a sample of their sperm to create a baby.

Women who use the app are able to filter potential fathers according to a range of characteristics.

They can select a man depending on his educational level, occupation and looks, with the option to choose a man with a certain hair or eye colour and height. They can even read a description of the potential father's personality before committing to buying their sperm.

Once the woman has selected her ideal man, she simply needs to make an in-app payment of £950 before the sperm is delivered to the fertility clinic at which she is being treated.

So far, around half of Britain's IVF clinics (both NHS and private) have signed up to allow their patients to use the service.

The selected sperm sample is bought via the app for less than £1,000

The selected sperm sample is bought via the app for less than £1,000

The scientific director of the London Sperm Bank, Dr Kamal Ahuja, praised the app, telling The Sunday Times, "You make all the transactions online, like you do anything else these days. This allows a woman who wants to get a sperm donor to gain control in the privacy of her own home and to choose and decide in her own time."

The paper obtained the personality descriptions for a number of men who are on the app, and at first glance they are incredibly similar to the descriptions used on dating apps.

One man, who works as a martial arts instructor, is described as "shy at first" but "well-mannered" and a "profound thinker". 

Similarly, a man with brown eyes and hair who works as a jeweller is described as "a very calm and spiritual person. He feels passionately about the environment and loves spending time exploring on his bike and connecting with the natural world."

In contrast, a lawyer with a "strong character" is described as showing a "particular passion about his photography".

Although the app will undoubtedly make the process of selecting sperm easier for women, not everyone is impressed.

Josephine Quintavelle, who is part of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, told The Sunday Times, "How much further can we go in the trivialisation of parenthood? This is reproduction via the mobile phone. It's digital dads. Choose Daddy.

"This is the ultimate denigration of fatherhood."

The app is legal and meets the standards set by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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